26 May 2022

Opinion from Adrian Leopard & Co

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COP26 vying for first position over covid
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COP26 vying for first position over covid

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Probably never since Noah’s Ark has man faced impending doom as he does now

There is no doubt that from time to time we have very weighty matters which arise in society and quite simply “take over” the news.

Afghanistan was one such matter. Whereas covid had been top story in every news cast for as long as we can now remember, suddenly the catastrophe in Afghanistan raised its very ugly head and took over.

For a while it maintained its top place; every news cast was about Afghanistan and the terrible issues it was raising. Then the last British and American troops left Kabul and suddenly it was all over. Now we get the odd article about it and some pretty terrible stuff too but even though the problems are probably worse now than they were at the start, covid took back over again.

But now climate change has managed to get the top slot. We have world leaders coming en masse to Glasgow, absent a few notables who we would have liked to see there, and every time the television is turned on to the news channels, it is all about COP.

Sure there are a few bits and bobs about covid but suddenly it does not seem as important.

But of course it is with new cases continuing at 40000 a day and people still dying.

But such is the way of the news channels; they are always looking out for a sexy new story to catch the public interest and that will never change.

For two weeks COP will rule the world media and indeed we may make some extraordinary discoveries. Whether the many governments will come out of it with a plan remains to be seen and at this stage even the wisest amongst us think there is only a 50% chance. All this paraphernalia and pontificating just for that? Will it prove to have been worth it at the end?

Unfortunately the future does look bleak. When you see the programmes on TV about plastic pollution, one can only wonder if it can ever be reversed because it is so bad.

Many many years ago, and I am talking decades, a television programme was made which probably few will have seen and even fewer remember. The scene was set on an aeroplane and suddenly the interior began to melt and everything started to turn into a liquid.

Putting aside how the plot was resolved, what had happened was that someone had invented a virus [have you heard this before?] which was capable of breaking down plastic and effectively liquefying it into a harmless by-product. Even in those days decades ago the problems of plastic longevity were known about and society was wondering how to deal with it.

Today, the plastic virus which breaks it down and renders it harmless would surely be heralded as one of the greatest inventions of all time and there are some products under development. To be told that even the most robust of plastic bottles can only be used 20 times does not do a lot to resolve the problem and the difficulties of recycling because of the cleaning, disentanglement of other substances and so forth make recycling a very expensive task, such that a country like Samoa does not have a recycling plant at all because it is too small to warrant it – but that does not make the problem of empty coke bottles go away!

Probably in the end, the carbon emissions task is so monumental and man is so selfish that man will fail and Mother Nature will take over and continue the plans she has already set in motion. Natural disasters will become ever more devastating. Indeed do we even have until 2050 to change things? Nature has a very considerable armoury of disasters to throw at us – famine, rising sea level, flood, storm, earthquake, volcano, solar flares, tsunami, disease to name but some. I don’t think she really needs man to help her – she has all the tools at her fingertips and we are certainly beginning to feel them.

So Hallowe’en has now passed but the natural horrors certainly have not and there is plenty of material to flex our minds. When the real apocalypse comes, will there be an All Saints Day to follow?

Adrian Leopard 02-11-21

Photo Toby Elliott

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Adrian Leopard & Company is the trading name of Alderney Offshore Ltd, a company registered in Alderney, Channel Islands number 1220.

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Adrian Leopard & Co is represented in the UK by 3CL (UK) Ltd trading as Adrian Leopard Associates.

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